Contract for Deed FAQ - United States


Definitions
What is a Contract for Deed?

A contract for the purchase of real property (real estate) in which the seller retains the deed (title) to the property until the buyer makes payments in installments equal to the agreed upon purchase price. The purchaser has an immediate right to possession of the property, but the vendor defers delivery of the deed (transfer of title) until they have secured all or part of the purchase price.

A Contract for Deed is useful when a buyer is unable to obtain financing other than seller financing.

What does the term "Deed" mean?

The term "Deed" refers to a legal document that transfers title of real property (land and buildings or easements) from one individual to another.

What is the Governing Law?

The Governing Law will be the jurisdiction in which the property is located. It may or may not coincide with the jurisdiction in which the parties reside.

What does the term "real property" mean?

The term "real property" refers to land and things attached to land, such as buildings, fences and trees.

What is an acceleration clause?

An acceleration clause is a term in a loan agreement that allows the lender to make the unpaid balance due immediately if the purchaser violates a term of the loan agreement, such as failing to make a loan payment.

What is the "municipal address"?

The Municipal Address is the physical address of the property and it is the same as the mailing address. (e.g. Street, City, State, ZIP Code, Country)

What does the term "legal description" mean?

The term "legal land description" refers to the format used in your jurisdiction to officially describe sections of land for the purpose of government records. The legal land description is how government records define the land that you have title to. In North America, most jurisdictions use a township and ranges system. Your legal land description may be found on your land title, in tax assessment information, and in your mortgage agreement. It is NOT your street address.

What are the statutory disclosure requirements?

Statutory disclosure requirements vary from state to state, but generally the Seller is required to disclose any known defects in the physical condition of the property that may materially affect its value, including, but not limited to, items such as malfunctioning appliances, pest control problems, mold problems, structural issues with the home, roof defects, etc. We recommend that you make yourself aware of the statutory disclosure requirements for your state, and if you are not sure what the requirements are, contact your local real estate commission, and or a local attorney.

What are additional clauses?

While the Contract for Deed Law Depot.com provides is very comprehensive and provides sound protection, this option is available to allow you to tailor the contract to your specific circumstances.

How do I write the additional clauses?

Please see "Drafting Tips" under the Help menu. If you are still unsure of how to properly word any of your additional clauses, it is recommended that you consult a local attorney or lawyer for assistance in writing your additional clauses.

Signing
I do not know when the Contract for Deed will be signed. Can I fill in the date later?

Yes, by selecting 'Unsure' as the date the agreement will be signed, a blank line will be inserted into the lease so that you can add the correct date after printing the document.

Why is a Notary Acknowledgement necessary?

A Notary Acknowledgement is often required by local legislation to authenticate deeds. In addition to various other duties, a Notary Public certifies certain legal documents. Swearing or signing in front of a Notary Public is better evidence that the document or contract was signed by that person (reduces the risk of fraud), and helps avoid bureacratic hold-ups.

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